Recycle, Re-purpose, Reuse – Building Update

Recycle, Re-purpose, Reuse

Recycle, re-purpose and reuse. These three R’s are core values of our sustainable, eco build.  Marsa Alam Desert Retreat, is committed to these principles.

There’s so much waste generated everyday, some that we can see and a lot of less obvious hidden stuff.

We’re all familiar with recycling but re-purposing and up-cycling are relatively new words for good old-fashioned reuse of good materials for the same or a different purpose.

However, whatever word is chosen, basically, they all reduce waste.

What will we recycle?

Anything we can lay our hands on, salvage or buy! As long as they pose no risk to health and safety.

So far we’re using

  • Wooden Pallets
  • Wooden Spools
  • Granite off cuts
  • Glass
  • Jars

Take a look at what we’ve done so far with wooden pallets

Transformed delivery pallets (all checked for safety) into the most creative and beautiful shutters for the windows.

Still a work in progress but they do look so good!

Mixing the Old with the New

Some new wood has been used as well for the frames; as well as off-cuts from other projects.

Very skillfully executed indeed!

Lots of good recyclable wood can be found locally to incorporate in our eco-build.

Are You Serious?


At first the Carpenter thought I was crazy but now he’s got into it and has really embraced the idea!

I can’t seem to make my mind as to which looks the best. Which shutters do you prefer?



A little creativity by the carpenter? I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this.

We’ve even managed to use pallet wood for some of our doors although the design is still being worked on. This is our test door:-

So Much So for windows have a look at what we’re using on the floors

We’ve gone around and literally collected all the off cuts and scraps of granite and marble that we can find.

But is Granite Sustainable and Eco Friendly?

Granite production is not considered sustainable or green due to the high energy consumption used in quarrying and polishing.

Not to mention the high carbon footprint caused by transferring this stuff around.

That said however, rather than boycott granite. We’ve instead, turned a negative into a positive, by making use of off cuts that would normally be scrapped, for making our floors.

There’s a plethora of granite and stone quarries in Egypt and Marsa Alam is no exception granite is easily obtained here.

The large hotels along the coast use it in abundance. Moreover it’s a popular choice for even the humblest of homes for countertops and floors.

Infact everywhere you look in Egypt you will see one type of granite or other types of stones. Hence, it’s widely available but unfortunately not sustainable!

Granite and Stone a healthy choice

As natural stones granite and marble are durable and environmentally friendly in that they don’t emit toxins.

Almost all natural stone is safe to use which is perfect for the healing environment we’re creating here at our retreat.

Moreover, natural stones have inherent healing properties, after all they consist minerals that are beneficial to our health.

So much so that stone is healthier to have in your living environment rather than man-made or synthetic materials.

Carefully laid design

It took a lot of patience to get the pieces to match;

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Different types of granite incorporated in the design to add colour


Finally finished!

Not quite, this is only a sample floor we’re deciding whether to go with the mix of colours as in the picture above;

Or to have a neutral coloured floor like these below throughout the rest of our retreat?

Personally I prefer the neutral marble colour I don’t like decor to be too ‘busy’. Also I love the small chips of granite subtley incorporated.

Which sample do you prefer for the floor neutral or colourful?

Whichever one we go with, it was completed really quickly and I can certainly say I’m very pleased with the finish!

But it’s not just about me ….

The workers are really proud of the results largely because it is the first time they’ve worked on a project of this nature and are amazed at how well everything is looking especially as they consider a lot of the materials to be waste!

……And what do you think?

Perhaps you don’t agree that we should be recycling with a project like this and that we should use new wood or different types of flooring like other holiday resorts. Let us know your views whatever they may be. We always welcome debate!

Thanks for following, for your likes and comments. We appreciate your support and encouragement.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. It is coming along nicely. I like the second set of windows because they are so different.

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Thank you, yes they’re doing a good job. Thanks also for your comment on the windows that really is helpful🤗

  2. Hi Isis. I admire and appreciate that you’re building the retreat center with so many eco and recycled materials. It’s really coming along and looking good. I prefer the second, creative shutter and the tan colored floor on the left.


    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Thank you Brad I’m really glad that you like the direction we’re going in with the recycling. Also thank you for letting us know your choice of shutters and floors.I actually prefer that colour too.😊 We really appreciate your encouragement and support🤗

      1. You are most welcome. I’m very happy for you in fulfilling your dream. 🙂

  3. I love that you’re recycling. It is looking great. I liked both windows but the carpenter’s creativity is very nice. And the floors, they both look awesome!

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Wow! Thank you Debbie that’s a really positive comment, I will let the carpenter know that his work is being appreciated. Thanks for your support and encouragement 🤗

  4. Recycling is the way forward! We recently made a chalk board with a pallet wood frame and a door out of pallet wood! Those floors are stunning and I like all the shutters but I think the slightly more decorative shutters have the edge 🙂

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Wow a kindred spirit! Would love to see pictures I love to see what pallets can be turned into, the possibilities seem endless.😊Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts, very much appreciated 🙏🏻

  5. Bryan Fagan says:

    Amazing what you’re doing. Most of all you are proving that recycling can be done on a huge project. There is no reason for others not to do this.

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Absolutely, I never thought of it in that way. Thanks for your support Bryan. I certainly hope others will be inspired too.

  6. OMG that is absolutely gorgeous!!!!!! What a great idea!

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Thank you 🤗

  7. jackcollier7 says:

    so cool and I am so envious

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Oh thank you Jack! Sorry to make you feel envious!😃 please follow us for more updates, we’d love you to stick around!!!

  8. azratarannum says:

    The ideas are so unique and innovative! Eco-friendly is the way to go. I like the standard shutters better… Simplicity is what works for me!

    1. Marsa Alam Desert Retreat says:

      Thank you. I agree with your choice of shutters I too prefer simple designs😊

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